Ofwat today confirmed that it has fined Severn Trent Water £35.8million for deliberately providing false information to Ofwat and for delivering poor service to its customers.
This breaks down as:
- £34.7 million (2.9% of 2006-07 turnover) for deliberately misreporting some key customer service information; and
- £1.1 million (0.1% of 2005-06 turnover) for providing sub-standard services to customers.
Ofwat Chief Executive Regina Finn said:
“Severn Trent Water’s behaviour was unacceptable. The size of the fine reflects how seriously Ofwat takes the deliberate misreporting of information.
“This sends a clear message to the company and to the rest of the water sector – Ofwat will protect consumers and companies must comply with their legal obligations or pay the price. Any further attempts to deliberately mislead Ofwat could lead to even bigger fines in the future.”
The obligations on the companies to provide reliable, accurate and complete data are designed to protect consumers in a monopoly environment. Without a choice of supplier, this protection is essential.
Severn Trent Water’s shareholders will bear the entire cost of this fine. It will not be passed on to its customers.